Growing up in the country, without a lot of outside stimulus, makes you more creative. I believe this wholeheartedly.
In our neighborhood, which was just a dirt road with five houses on it, there were three girls my sister’s age (3 years older), me, and a boy three years younger than me. That’s it. My time was spent going between playing with a kid that was both younger AND a boy, and trying desperately to keep up with the big kids. They were usually okay with me being around as long as I didn’t act like a baby.
One summer night, one of the older girls, my sister, and myself were bored out of our skulls, and somehow the conversation veered into things we didn’t like. My sister had (and still has) a world-famous epic level of disgust for lemon, tomatoes, and dog food. She hates them all. I believe on that night she might have threatened to throw up if we didn’t stop talking about tomatoes and dog food.
We took that as a challenge. For about thirty minutes, we took turns describing both tomatoes and dog food as viscerally as possible, mentioning things like a) seeds, b) meaty smells, c) gross textures. We kept saying that we were going to open a can of dog food, but it turns out we didn’t have to. After about half an hour, my sister turned and wretched into the grass next to our home.
We started laughing hysterically, but if you’ve ever laughed hysterically in the presence of fresh vomit, you’ll find that it’s just too much shaking and disgustingness for anyone’s stomach. I felt bile rising in my throat, maniacal laughtears streaming down my face, and I turned away just in time to toss my own cookies in the lawn as well. My sister and I, bent over and pukey, were too much for our neighbor, and she responded with a laugh that became a retch. Then she was throwing up too.
Had my parents happened to open the door to check on their children that night, they would have seen three preteen girls laughing and vomiting in opposite directions all over their pretty green lawn.
Maybe if they had, I would have gotten that puppy I’d always wanted.